Two Dollars and a Bus Pass

When he looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a widow putting in two small coins.  He said, “I tell you truly, this poor woman put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.  Luke 21:1-4

It was a cold winter day and as I left the 12:10 mass at St. Bernard’s and headed back to the office, I decided to stop at the local Arby’s for a roast beef sandwich and a coke.  Although it wasn’t yet one o’clock, the restaurant was nearly empty and I was the only person in line.

As I approach the cashier, I could tell that she had been crying.  Her eyes were red and she held back the sniffles that accompanied her sadness.  As I waited for my food, another worker came over to console her friend.  I couldn’t help but overhear some of their conversation.  The crying girl was broke and there were still two days until pay day.  She had no food or bus pass.  I was amazed when her young friend made her a generous offer, “I have two dollars and a bus pass, I’ll happily give you the money and keep the bus pass or give you the pass and keep the two dollars.”

Now that’s generosity, I thought.  It reminded me of the poor widow’s mite in the gospels of Mark and Luke.  As I reached into my wallet, all I had were two twenty dollar bills. I hesitated for a moment, and handed each of them 20 dollars and told them it was a tip for their good service.

Dumbfounded, they accepted the money and as I left I could see them in the reflection of the window giving each other a tearful hug.  Forty dollars didn’t seem like much compared to two dollars or a bus pass.

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